The Secret Life of Corn

May 17, 2017 12:00 PM
 
Corn Ear

Following record crops and record grain stocks, farmers are finding new ways to use corn. Ethanol and animal feed seem to be old hat, making way for new uses such as shoes, car cushions and moisturizers.

Reebok brand recently unveiled tennis shoes made with corn, Lego is toying with the idea of grain-based materials to mold bricks and even Ford added grain into their seat cushions, according to Wall Street Journal.

Farmers have the largest projected beginning corn stocks since 1989, which means supply is down from a year ago, but it’s still the second highest on record and needs to find a use. Corn can be found in more than 4,000 items in an average grocery store, according to Iowa Corn. Manufacturers break the kernel into four key components to create products: starch, fiber, protein and oil.

Here are some of the creative and unexpected ways Iowa Corn shows corn can be used:

USDA projects 170.7 bu. per acre for this season, which could lead to more overstock. Corn for food, seed and industrial use is expected to rise to 7 billion bushels this year, up 80 million bushels over last year. However, exports are down 350 million bushels with a 1 billion bushel increase in combined exports from Brazil and Argentina.

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